By John Schleicher
The College of Medicine’s University of Nebraska Hospital opened 100 years ago, in September 1917. The various buildings that housed the hospital remain on the campus today, located between Wittson Hall and the Durham Outpatient Center, and surrounded on all sides by other buildings. In 1996-1997, University Hospital merged with Clarkson Hospital, to form the basis of what is now Nebraska Medicine.
By the 1920s, the internship had become recognized nationally as an essential part of medical education. Though not originally a formal requirement, post-medical school internships became an accepted and necessary step in the preparation for medical practice. University of Nebraska Hospital had interns for 12-month assignments, beginning as early as 1920 (see image).
By 1927, University Hospital was accepting interns for an 18-month service. During this time, the young physicians rotated through seven departments. Two months were spent in each of five areas—pathology, drug room and anesthetics, radiology and physical therapy, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology, where the intern acted as house physician in the admitting department. In addition, the intern spent four months in each of the two major areas, medicine and surgery. Dr. Albert F. Tyler’s 1928 book, History of Medicine in Nebraska, noted, “This internship is not excelled anywhere in the country in the general training given and opportunities offered by a service in a teaching hospital.”